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Windows 7 hints and tips

Add great gadgets to the desktop

In Windows Vista if you go to Start, All Programs, Accessories you will see Windows Sidebar. If you run it (it might already be running), it adds a panel at the right hand side of the screen where you can place useful mini applications called gadgets. a few are bundled with Windows and many more are available for download from the internet.

Windows 7 still has gadgets, but it doesn't have the Windows Sidebar. You can place gadgets on the desktop anywhere you like and they aren't restricted to a small vertical strip at the right hand side of the screen. This is much better.

So how do you add gadgets in Windows 7? It's easy. Just right click and empty part of the desktop and select gadgets from the menu that pops up. A gadget gallery appears and if you right click one you have the option to add it to the desktop or to uninstall it. Click Add and add one, such as the calendar.

Windows 7 GadgetThe gadget appears in the top right corner of the screen by default, but it can be clicked and dragged anywhere on the desktop.

As it approaches the edges it will snap to them, which makes it easy to line them up along an edge.

The features that are available depend on the type of gadget, but the calendar, for example, can be expanded by clicking the arrow-in-a-box icon that appears on the right when the mouse is over the gadget.

Right click a gadget and you might see an option to set the size to either large or small - the CPU Meter gadget is a good one to try this with.

The opacity of the gadget can be set too and it ranges from 20% to 100%.

Go to Windows 7 tips index...